Microsoft's Windows 8 Dispenses with Traditional Boundaries | Bangkok Post: tech

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Microsoft's Windows 8 Dispenses with Traditional Boundaries

When Gordon Moore made his now celebrated observation that the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every18 months, it is unlikely that even he foresaw the amazing development the world of IT would experience some 47 years later.

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Today, evidence of that development is all around us. And it continues at an amazing pace. All manner of devices from notebooks and tablet, to smartphones, ultrabooks and combinations thereof, compete for our attention and our bottom baht. 

Progress by its nature, is always relative. What is unimaginable today becomes common place tomorrow, and those of us on the sidelines can only marvel at the fertile minds that make it all possible. Occasionally, a player in the Great Communications Game introduces a radical change. A change that triggers a minor revolution. Such a change is the very latest version of Microsoft's operating system - Windows 8. It's also pioneering, because for the first time, it dispenses with the traditional boundaries between the communication devices we most commonly use. It means that with Windows 8 you no longer need to choose between the fun and convenience of a tablet and the power and productivity of a PC.

Fast, fluid and fun

RachodIsarankura Na Ayuthaya, Windows Client Business Group Lead, Microsoft (Thailand) Limited, said: "Fast, fluid and fun for the whole family, Windows 8 gets the many different computer jobs done, quickly and very efficiently. After quickly getting used to the dragster type quick start-up you have the world of Windows 8 literally at your fingertips."

The touch input works brilliantly - you can for example swipe the Windows 8 screen with your thumbs or snap a sidebar to the screen with a touch so that you can keep tabs on two apps at the same time. All the keyboard shortcuts though, still function perfectly, and if you prefer navigating with a mouse, you'll still get there in record time. It's here, by the way, that the Windows Key comes into its own - it calls up the all important Start screen whenever you need it.

A world of apps at your fingertips

Keeping tabs on apps is something Windows 8 users quickly find necessary because there's a whole new world of Web-connected apps available via the new Windows Store. And many of these new apps can even display relevant information on their Windows Start screen tiles, making choosing and installing them quick and easy. Oh yes, and especially now, it'sall great festive fun. You can also personalise your screen to display a particular theme - the topical Windows 8 Snowmen for example or one of the other holiday themes available at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/snowmen-download-theme

The list of great local apps is impressive and growing fast, and includes for instance

Ensogo, the social commerce site that provides great discounts on hotels, restaurants and products; Major Cineplex; Bangkok Bank; the popular daily news programmeRueng Lao, plus pre-installed travel and sports apps.

Tiles of fun

Popular television host Woody Milintachindais a Windows 8 enthusiast.The LiveTiles, the new icons which updates information in real time. "What I'm interested in and enjoying in Windows 8 are the tiles of fun. Those tiles have movement, it's like you are watching the stock market board. You can adjust and structure your tiles and you can see your behaviour, tiles for me are like the pulse. Before, I used to waste a lot of time, but now the programme saves me time."

Windows 8 also makes sending short messages and updating social networking sites fast and simple while sharing a slide show with is likely to be a popular Windows 8 pastime over the coming weeks.

Many of the estimated millions of users of a version of Windows are familiar with the benefits of cloud computing and will already have made full use of services such as Microsoft's SkyDrive which today offersmuch more than online storage. With Windows 8, SkyDrive is accessible to any app that wants to use it, and backs up your PC's settings to accommodate PC changes down the line. You can easily download and showcase your new photos by connecting to your personal storage on the cloud in SkyDrive,giving you as much as 7 GB of online storage wherever you are connected to the internet.

Borderless security

When we consider that malware and malicious downloads can literally cripple our PC and even wipe clean the hard drive, the issue of operating system security is placed in stark perspective. The good news is that many security analysts consider that Windows 8 is the most secure version yet and it's easy to see the reason for this bold claim. The new Windows 8 interface stops a computer from loading an operating system that hasn't been approved by Microsoft and all apps in the Windows Store are scrutinized for security issues.

Plus, the Windows 8 default Web browser, Internet Explorer 10, has been rated best in a recent test by NSS Labs, detecting and blocking over 99 percent of malicious downloads entirely on its own. The best other browsers could manage was 70.4 per cent while two of them recorded a dismal 4 percent blocking performance.

While Windows 8 dispenses with traditional computing boundaries,the recently launched Windows Phone 8 is essentially people centric and regarded by many as the best smartphone operating system currently available. And when the Windows Phone 8 gets personal, it really comes to life in the stunning versions now available from some hardware manufacturers. Those traditional computing boundaries are further made redundant by Windows 8

which allows your email, calendar, and apps to stay in sync across all your devices. Yes, this means your home PC is automatically updated to match your portable device.

How's that for computing without borders!

Until the end of January 2013, consumers currently running PCs with Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7, can download Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of $39.99 (THB 1,299.) while eligible Windows 7 PCs purchased between 02 June 2012, and 31 January 2013 can download Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of $14.99(around THB 500.) with the Windows Upgrade Offer, available at www.windowsupgradeoffer.com.

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